Cultural Calendar

Chez Vous: Christmas is Elektra Women’s Choir gift to you. | Photo courtesy of Elektra Women’s Choir

Not only is it cold and rainy outside, but sadly the pandemic is still going on. Unlike past years where I would have recommended everyone to get together and partake in holiday cheer and festive events around town, for this year I encourage everyone to keep warm inside at home with their loved ones, and limit participation in public gatherings. All of the events and activities below are offered online or with strict physical distancing protocols. Follow health directives and stay safe!

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Burnaby Village Museum: Heritage Christmas

Nov. 21, 2020–Jan. 1, 2021
(recently canceled – check the website for updates)

Experience the old-fashioned magic of Christmas at Heritage Christmas at the Burnaby Village Museum, from now until Jan. 1, 2021. Stroll through the 1920’s village and enjoy spectacular lights, vintage-themed displays and historical exhibits. Due to health concerns, advance reservations are recommended as there will be a limited number of people who will be allowed into Heritage Christmas at one time. For more information, check out the museum’s website.

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PomoArts Winter Treasures Artisan Market

Nov. 12–Dec. 22

A holiday shopping treat with COVID safety protocols in place, the PomoArts Winter Treasures artisan market is brimming with handcrafted gifts, art, décor and fine craft items. Everything is created by B.C. artists, so there is always something new arriving. Tis’ the season to shop local, show loved ones you care and support local artists! Enjoy this artisan market by visiting the Gallery or viewing the online gallery on the PomoArts website. Phone purchases and curbside pickup available.

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A Seat at the Table

Nov. 19–January 2022

This month, the Museum of Vancouver unveiled a new feature exhibition exploring historical and contemporary stories of Chinese Canadians in B.C. and their struggles for belonging. It looks to food and restaurant culture as an entry point to feature stories that reveal the great diversity of immigrant experience and of the communities immigrants develop. Restaurants and food offer compelling portals to understanding the Chinese Canadian experience. A close look at the food industry reveals the impact of racial discrimination on Chinese Canadians, but it also tells us much about their ability to resist, organize, seek justice and thrive.

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Origins – Music of the Tang Dynasty

Nov. 25, 7:30 p.m.

Early Music Vancouver will be featuring the music of the Tang Dynasty online on Nov. 25. All of the works on this programme are taken from traditional Chinese repertoires and feature traditional Chinese instruments, designed as an introduction to Chinese classical music for EMV’s audience. Though the Vancouver-based musicians of Silk Road Music Ensemble are not playing on period instruments, in collaboration with EMV, they have begun to explore the notion of historically informed performance practice for future seasons. Check out their website for access info and more information

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Nov. 26–Dec. 10

Fujima Sayū, Artistic Director of Vancouver’s TomoeArts, joins forces with Nishikawa Kayo, Artistic Director of Burnaby’s Satsuki-kai, and dancers from both companies for an illuminating online presentation of nihon buyoh, or Japanese classical and traditional dance. Ranging from theatrical kabuki to joyful folk-derived pieces and shin-buyoh or ‘new’ dances to popular music, they share some of the styles of nihon buyoh, its rich history and culture, and its distinctive tradition of training, with knowledge handed down from teacher to disciple. This is an online presentation; for more information, please check out the centre’s website.

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Glow Gardens: Drive-Through Light Journey

Nov. 26, 2020–Jan. 2, 2021

The Glow Elves of the Glow Gardens have created a brand new, COVID-friendly experience in Langley. Their drive-through exhibit, touchless light journey will take you through dazzling landscapes created by nearly a million lights. Take a leisurely 15-minute cruise into an illuminated wonderland that brings Christmas dreams to life. Advance reservation is required. Check out the Glow Gardens website for more information.

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Three Documentaries from Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab

Nov. 27–Dec. 3

Harvard University’s Sensory Ethnography Lab (SEL) has become a breeding ground for innovative, hyper-immersive documentaries that reorient our ideas about non-fiction filmmaking, especially in the ethnographic tradition. Guided by an M.O. that values aesthetics as much as ethnography – a departure from the top-down hierarchy of subject over form – the camera-wielding researchers at Harvard’s SEL have openly embraced the sensorial, experiential faculties of cinema to explore the multiplicities of the natural and unnatural world that are inarticulable through language or other conventional methods of anthropological reportage. The Cinematheque will present three documentaries from the lab responsible for its reputation: Sweetgrass (2009), Leviathan (2012) and Manakamana (2013).

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Elektra Women’s Choir Offers Chez Vous: Christmas with Elektra – Online

Nov. 29, 3 p.m.

This year, the Elektra Women’s Choir music will be delivered right to your house as they proudly sing in the season “chez vous.” There will be a one-hour, online Christmas special featuring some of artistic director Morna Edmundson’s favourite tracks from Elektra’s Christmas CDs, enhanced with beautiful imagery and greetings from their house to yours. From Deck the Hall and I Saw Three Ships to Canadian Christmas favourites, Chez Vous: Christmas with Elektra is their gift to you. For the broadcast link, please check out Elektra’s website.

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Toque Craft Fair

Dec. 1–6

In early December, Western Front is hosting the Toque Craft Fair, an annual community event and fundraiser, showcasing a curated selection of B.C.-based artists and designers who make textiles, ceramics, jewelry, books, bags and home and body products. Due to COVID-19, this year Toque will be transformed into a vibrant online marketplace. You can browse and buy items online from Dec. 1 until Dec. 6.

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Contemporary Asian Stories: How Bruce Lee Became a Legend

Dec. 3, 6:30–8 p.m.

Contemporary Asian Stories is a series of online events presented by Vancouver Public Library in partnership with the University of British Columbia Department of Asian Studies. The series celebrates literature, film and larger-than-life figures from across modern Asian popular cultures. 2020 is the 80th anniversary of Bruce Lee’s birth. Lee is still a pop culture icon 47 years after his death. How did this San Francisco-born boy become a legend? Join UBC Asian Studies professor Christopher Rea as he explores Bruce Lee’s story through his body of work and a few of the countless works he continues to inspire.